An Irish born mother and her British husband have been jailed in the UK for the manslaughter of their six children in a blaze on May 11, 2012 in Derby.

With 17 children in total by five different mothers Mick Philpott, 56, was dubbed ‘Shameless Mick’ by the press for his reckless lifestyle which was funded by welfare handouts.

Prosecutors in the case said Philpott and his wife Mairead, 31, alongside their friend Paul Moseley started a fire in a bid to frame Philpott’s 29-year-old former live in girlfriend and claim custody of the five children, four of which he fathered.  The young woman left the house three months earlier and took her five children, leaving the remaining six children behind, reports the Irish Examiner.

Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and 13-year-old Duwayne all died from smoke inhalation.

Philpott was jailed for life on Thursday, his wife, Mairead, and friend Paul Mosley were both jailed for 17 years for their role in the failed plot. Mairead, who was born in Ireland to a traveller family, had a troubled upbringing, the trial heard.

The court heard how Philpott was supposed to have rescued the children through a bedroom window, once the blaze began. But the petrol fueled fire spread quickly and the window would not open.

Judge Thirlwall described the plot as “a wicked and dangerous plan” and was “outside the comprehension of any right-thinking person."

“Their terror was the price they were going to pay for your callous selfishness. In fact, they paid with their six young lives.”

She added: “Mercifully, the deaths were swift and, it would appear, without pain.”

Senior investigating officer Det Supt Kate Meynell said it was an “incredibly tragic” case.

“Six innocent children died as a result of the actions of their parents, the very people who should have protected them against danger,” she said.

“The Philpotts and Paul Mosley showed no regard for the safety of the children and, since the fire, have shown no remorse for their actions. They have lied throughout the investigation and court case. There were plenty of opportunities to admit their guilt but they never did and persisted with their denials.”

Mick Philpott with Mairead PhilpottNeville Williams/Daily Mirror